Entertainment Love and Romance Sex Toys and Erectile Dysfunction How Sex Toys Can Provide Options for People Experiencing ED Share PINTEREST Email Print Vibratex Love and Romance Sexuality Relationships Divorce Teens LGBTQ Friendship By Cory Silverberg York University The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at The University of Toronto Cory Silverberg is an educator, author, and speaker with a passion for teaching people of all ages about gender and sexuality. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Cory Silverberg Updated September 29, 2017 Sex toys are not a form of erectile dysfunction treatment in any medical or clinical sense. With very few exceptions sex toys are manufactured without concern for effectiveness or safety, and without a particular use in mind, other than sexual pleasure. Clinically tested treatments for erectile dysfunction are designed specifically to create an erection where one doesn't exist. But sex toys can provide a range of options for people experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED) by providing more opportunities for sexual pleasure and, for some men, by changing the way that an erection feels. If you're experiencing ED the first thing you should do is talk with a doctor. Erectile dysfunction is a known early warning sign for other potentially serious health problems. It may be your body's way of telling you that something else is going on. So whether it's been going on for a long time or is recent, starting with a physician makes good sense. Once you understand what, if any, health implications there are linked to difficulty getting erections, you should feel free to explore the many non-medical options that sex toys have to offer. Sex toys won't likely solve any major problems, but they may help, and they are harmless (when used properly) and if nothing else, can be a lot of fun. Here are a few of the different kinds of sex toys people with erectile dysfunction have found both helpful and pleasurable. Penile Prostheses and Strap Ons If you are having difficulty getting an erection and want an erection for sex play, one option is to strap one on. Penile prostheses are designed to fit over the penis and can be used for intercourse. Some have straps that go around the waist while others, like the Ride On provide more discreet methods of attachment. Strap ons, also called dildo harnesses, are often a two part toy which fit around the waist, above the penis, and give you an erect dildo of almost any size and shape you can imagine. These toys obviously require creativity and a sense of fun, but many people find they provide a way of having intense sexual pleasure with a partner. Vibrators One cause of erectile difficulties can be reduced sensation. Particularly as we age (although it may be the result of other factors including illness, injury, or medication) penile sensitivity is reduced. Vibrators provide a kind of strong and consistent stimulation no body can, and for some men using a vibrator, particularly one with a strong motor like the Hitachi Magic Wand can change the quality of their erections. Penis Rings Penis rings, also known as cock rings, are non-medical versions of the constriction rings that come with erectile dysfunction pumps. Penis rings that are available in sex shops usually don't create the same constriction, and they are not designed to give a man an erection, but for some men, some of the time, penis rings can help maintain an erection once it's achieved, and some men also report the feeling of a penis ring to be pleasurable in its own right. Penis Pumps Penis pumps are based on the same concept as clinically tested medical devices known as vacuum constriction devices, or vacuum pumps, but they have not been tested for effectiveness or safety. For this reason, they are not recommended as a treatment for erectile dysfunction. However, penis pumps can be considerably less expensive, and if you have been diagnosed with erectile dysfunction and are considering treatment using a pump, a penis pump can be an inexpensive way to try it out, and dip your proverbial toe in the water, without having to spend the hundreds of dollars that proper vacuum devices cost.